Homemade Bug Traps for flying gnats and flies

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Battle of the Bugs - how we rid our home of flying gnats and sewer flies
We used Homemade bug traps, fly ribbons, and bug zappers. Which method worked best for us in the battle of the bugs?

So, I feel like we’ve had a little success this week. For the last several weeks, we’ve been battling these tiny pesky flies. I thought they were gnats, but my father-in-law thinks they are sewer flies. They begin so small that they resemble gnats. But, either way, we’ve finally abolished them. *I think*. Fingers crossed. We took several steps, including making homemade bug traps for flying gnats and sewer flies.

Before moving into this house, I’ve never experienced a problem with sewer flies. But, we had a problem with them last year about this same time, so I think it’s seasonal. We tried so many things to rid ourselves of them. We tried pouring boiling water down the drain. I even tried Drano! However, these pesky bugs kept coming back. We have five cats, so I wanted to avoid an exterminator, if possible.  Also, we want to avoid using toxins in the kitchen sinks, so David and I embarked on a mission to get rid of these “gnasty” critters without toxins, first.

Fly Strips or Fly Paper

Flies on flypaper By Sergei Frolov [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
Flies on flypaper By Sergei Frolov [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
We hung these flypaper strips all over the house. Yep. These long, sticky ribbons hang from the ceiling by a tack. While they did successfully catch the flies, they blew around a bit every time the air conditioner cycled, leaving a sticky mess on whatever they touched. I still have an unremovable gooey spot on the side of my TV. Oh, and I felt embarrassed when guests saw this gross fly graveyard dangling over the kitchen counters. However, they worked well at attracting the flies, and the strips are inexpensive. They are readily available on Amazon if you would like to try fly strips. My mother-in-law swears by them.

I cut off their food supply.

Food attracts the gnats. So, I made sure to put away any food. I didn’t even leave any fresh fruit on the counter. We dumped table scraps outside. Also, empty the trash regularly.

Cover the drains and water sources

Light attracts these tiny pests so cover all your drains and plug them up.

Indoor Bug Zappers

Indoor Bug Zapper - worked well, but I had some safety concerns in homes with small fingers.
Indoor Bug Zapper – worked well, but I had some safety concerns in homes with small fingers.

Since light attracts them, I installed indoor bug zappers near sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. We used two different brands. The Tariker Gnat Trap worked the best.

However, I do have a few concerns:

1. It worked well in the small bathrooms – but did not work well in our open-concept kitchen, or our larger office.
2. The slots are large enough for adult fingers. AND the capacitor holds a charge for several hours after the device is unplugged. I know because I was trying to clean out the one from the bathroom and my finger slipped in. It gave me a nice little jolt that felt like I stuck my tongue to a live 9-volt battery. So, I would not plug these in where children can reach them. The bright lights are too much of a temptation and if adult fingers can slip in, so can children’s. So, I don’t recommend this for homes with small, curious fingers.

If you do use the indoor bug zappers, they work great in tandem with homemade bug traps.

Create Homemade Bug Traps

This last method finally did the trick. Within a few days, we noticed significantly fewer gnats. Today, I haven’t seen any. Unlike the zappers, I am not concerned about homemade bug traps around small children. While still not the highlight in home decorating, they aren’t nearly as unsightly as the bug ribbons. They are easier to put away when guests come over – and economical!

We filled a one-cup glass ramekin size bowl with 1/4 of a 100% apple juice box. Next, we added a couple of drops of dish detergent. (HINT: Use a natural dish soap to make all natural homemade but traps). Do not stir. Then, we simply sat the bowls next to each sink. They filled up so quickly, I had to refresh them every day!

Check this out! I took this photo less than 24 hours after placing the bowl. We caught so many bugs in just a few hours that I couldn’t even count them! Sorry for the gross photo, but I really had to demonstrate. Now, one week later, I haven’t seen any bugs in a few days. I’m still keeping the drains plugged for a while, just in case.

Homemade Bug Trap with Apple Juice and Dishwashing Liquid. Homemade bug traps are effective and inexpensive
Homemade Bug Trap with Apple Juice and Dishwashing Liquid

David found the directions online, but I modified it. We found the vinegar in the original instructions only marginally useful. And, you know what they say – you draw more flies with sugar than vinegar. The juice boxes that were not 100% juice worked, too, but not as effectively as the real thing. You could use bottled juice. I didn’t try it with other juice but don’t know why different flavors would be less potent.

I don’t make any guarantees that any of these methods or products will work for you, but they worked great for us.

Battle of the Bugs - we used these hacks to rid our home of flying gnats and sewer flies. What did we find the most effective?
Battle of the Bugs – we used these hacks to rid our home of flying gnats and sewer flies. What did we find the most effective?

 

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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

Latest posts by Alicia Taylor (see all)

Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

3 Comments

  • Shira Jacobson

    November 7, 2018 - 8:46 am

    If only people knew how many toxins they were taking into their body just by breathing, bug sprays and bug candles would go out of favor quickly and these more natural solutions would be the standard go-to.

  • Evan

    November 6, 2018 - 12:06 am

    It is extremely satisfying seeing all the dead bugs on the traps after they’ve been constantly annoying you for days.

    • Alicia Taylor

      November 6, 2018 - 6:51 pm

      Oh! So true! I have had to remake meals due to these bugs! It’s like a little bit of revenge!

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